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McLaren calls for 'weight race' to supersede horsepower wars

by Justin King

The plea aligns with the opening of McLaren\'s new Composites Technology Center.

McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt has called for automakers to enter a "weight race" and put an end to the horsepower wars.

Speaking at an industry summit in London, Flewitt suggested automakers and governments should work together to "develop the synergies between future powertrain development and the clever use of lighter materials that will help save weight and, therefore, reduce the energy needed to power them."

The British marque was the first to bring a carbon fiber chassis into Formula 1 back in 1981. Composite materials have since been used in every race car, sportscar and supercar adorned with a McLaren badge.

The company is preparing to open a $66 million Composites Technology Center in its home country. The facility will provide more than 75,000 square feet of space to build ultra-lightweight chassis tubs for future vehicles.

Carbon obviously has a place in a $200,000 supercar, but McLaren believes its composite innovations will have a broader impact on the automotive industry.